Monday, June 18, 2018

Scrappy Rails

I saw a pattern for Scrappy Happy Rails in Amanda Jean Nyberg's book, No Scrap Left Behind. It gave me the starting place I needed to make Scrappy Rails.

I wanted to use up some more of my black/white strings. I first used some of the strings when I made Black and White and Red All Over in March. Amanda Jean's pattern seemed like a perfect fit. 

My rails are black and white and I used fabric scraps for the colors in the quilt. I used the red dot in the quilt for the binding.  The quilt is 53" by 53" and has Dream Cotton batting.

I quilted a large loop-de-loop pattern all over the quilt using white, 50-wt Aurifil thread and my temperamental Bernina.

The back is a black and white fabric with red.

This donation quilt is ready to go.

We have a busy week this week and then we have a two-week trip so there won't be much progress made on quilting projects for a while.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A quilt top made of leftovers

I began playing with a few of the leftover Dream Weaver blocks and some orphan blocks and pieces that I found in the orphan block basket.
full basket of orphan blocks, pieces of quilts, parts of blocks, ...
I began with 5 Dream Weaver blocks and some 2 1/2" squares - I still have LOTS of squares - on a piece of fabric that I bought at Quilter's Compass recently. I challenged myself to only use leftover blocks or scraps with the background fabric.

In the orphan block basket, I found some small white 3 1/2" squares with color in one corner. 
I chose ones with blue, red, yellow, and orange corners. I did have to make a few but I found some scraps of fabric that worked perfectly. 

I found lots of flying geese that weren't ironed open yet. Where does all of this stuff come from??? I chose the yellow/white and orange/white ones. I did have to add a small scrap of white to the very center to get the correct measurement for the width of the quilt.

I realized that I could just do rows and have a neat quilt so I began duplicating the top rows on the bottom.

All of a sudden, I had a finished top!  

It doesn't have a name yet and I'm not going to call it Leftovers! It'll be a while before it's quilted since there are a few ahead of it so I have time to think of a name.

Now I need to figure out what to do with the rest of the Dream Weaver blocks...

Monday, June 11, 2018

A finished quilt top and more...

Another quilt shop, Quilter's Compass in Monticello, Wisconsin, is sadly going out of business. We stopped by last week and I found almost everything on my 'need' list plus a bit more. I didn't get photos of the Aurifil thread.

I hope to get back one more time before they close their doors on June 23. The sale gets better each week.


I have been doing some sewing. The Dream Weaver quilt top is together. The border is more teal than blue.

Because I used a border on this quilt, I have some leftover blocks. I originally planned on a borderless quilt with 49 blocks but only need 25.  

I think there will be 2 more quilts using the extra blocks.


Last week, Ray and I attended a Blanket Party. We have a young friend who wanted to make fleece blankets to donate to University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital aka American Family's Children Hospital. This young lady has Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and for her 11th birthday, she asked to make blankets to donate to 'her' hospital.  We completed 16 blankets and she and her mom delivered them last week.

Ray and I also stopped by the Children's Hospital last week and dropped off 10 quilts. I still have 15 donation quilts at home and, I think, 13 more quilts in various stages. I don't think I'll ever run out of quilts to make ...

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Blue Water

Blue Water is one of my very favorite quilts! It wasn't a planned quilt - it just happened.

You may remember Just Sailing Along. I had 4 leftover sailboat blocks and also 2 'failed' prototype blocks.

Recently, I finished Bright Log Cabin and I had 8 extra blocks.

I was trying to figure out something to do with the extra Bright Log Cabin blocks. As I was playing with different layouts, I went looking for ideas and happened to find the leftover sailboats. The colors/fabrics meshed perfectly and this 54" by 56" quilt evolved.

The quilt has Dream Cotton Batting. I used a walking foot and 50-weight light blue #2715 Aurifil thread to quilt this with free-form waves. 

The back is red with small flecks of color and the binding is a stripe with all of the right colors.

I bought the  blue water fabric from a shop in Rock Island, Illinois, on our January visit.

The four leftover sailboats are on the right and the left. The sailboats at the top and bottom are the 'failed' prototypes - the sails are shorter and the boats are taller than the sailboats used for Just Sailing Along. The leftover log cabin blocks worked well as the corner and center blocks.

I think I can now donate Just Sailing Along and Bright Log Cabin and I'll hold on to Blue Water for awhile.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Red and White Tablerunner

I began this quilt at Quilt Camp in the fall of 2010. I had a lot of back pain at the time - this was before we knew a vertebrae had broken off and moved, taking all of the nerves in the spinal column with it. There are many small pieces and it wasn't going well so I finally put it away. When I was cleaning a while ago, I found it. I thought about using it as a FMQ practice sandwich but Ray really liked it. He suggested that I just finish it as a table runner instead of a larger quilt. So I did. I didn't tear anything out - I think all quilts tell stories and this one is no different.

This finished at 58" by 18" and I used Dream Cotton batting. I free-motion quilted this with 50-wt white Aurifil thread. There are flowers in the open white spaces and wishbones or lazy eights over the rest.

And then I washed it with a Color Catcher...

One of the problems with using scraps that I've collected over many years from many places is that you never know which fabric bleeds. I was concerned about the different reds back in 2010 but for some reason, I believed it would be okay. I've got a couple tricks up my sleeve - we'll see what happens. 


All of the quilts that I began or worked on at the March retreat are now done. I'm considering the table runner done. However, every time I get caught up I've already started more! 

All of the 2 1/2" squares are sorted and stored by color. As I was sorting, I pulled squares for a few different quilts.

I made a couple HSTs and thought I liked the combination so I made 48 blocks and came up with this 

or this. Since I'm not crazy about either, the blocks will just sit for a while until I get another inspiration.

I made a yellow and gray quilt in 2014 and found the leftover pieces when I was cleaning out the scrap drawers. I added a little gray and put together this jelly roll race quilt.

I also found this Sunbonnet Sue fabric when cleaning out the scrap fabric. It's from a friend's stash that was gifted to me. 

I added some yellow and blue and ended up with this.

Right before the scrap cleaning began, I pulled scraps for Dream Weaver. It is coming along.


We were in Hudson, Wisconsin on Memorial Day weekend for a family graduation party. It was so nice to spend some time with my brothers

and their wives. 

I think it's time to go sew some 2 1/2" squares together - there are plenty here...

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Scrap cleanup is done for now

Cleaning out the scrap drawers is done for now. I did not touch the white, black, batik, nor flannel scrap drawers.

The number of 2.5" squares just grew and grew. I ended with this large basket of squares after I pulled out 300 squares for a quilt. An idea occurred to me so I pulled squares and put them in a project bag. There are a few thousand squares in this basket!

The green drawer was the last one emptied. That's the reason there are so many green squares at the top of the heap.

Now I have this smaller basket full of strings - none of them is large enough to  cut a 2 1/2" square. I think there will be some string blocks in the future.

Look at the empty scrap drawers! There are 5 totally empty drawers at the moment.That will change as I clean out the large drawers - I know there are some smaller pieces of fabric hiding in them.

Most baskets are empty and the piles are gone. This basket has many same sized rectangles. Someday they'll become a quilt but I don't have a plan yet so I won't put them in a project bag.

And this last basket has orphan blocks. Someday I'll go through them. I think I need a bigger basket.

There is plenty more cleaning that could take place but I think I've done enough! Now it's time to sew.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bright Log Cabin and Tank

I love this quilt and it's a good thing . . .

I usually quilt quilts in fourths. The first two quarters went fine. I took a break and then did the third one which I thought went well. When I finished it, I looked at the back and there were major tension issues. Sorry no pictures; I might have been busy muttering words 😒. I ripped out miles? of stitches. Many came out easily and others did not. I had to fix it - I love this quilt!

In the bright sunshine
I then thoroughly cleaned my machine - yes, the same one I just got back. I rethreaded and changed the needle. The quilting then went okay. I'm not sure what's going on - this machine wants to be thoroughly cleaned at least every half hour. It's time may be limited! I've always cleaned my machine before starting a project and after every bobbin but it appears that I'll be cleaning this one more often.

It took a while but Bright Log Cabin is finished. All of the pieces in the quilt are scraps - even the 'whites'. I got the idea for this quilt from Amanda Jean who blogs at 

This 54" square quilt is probably a donation quilt but I'm not sure. I love this quilt! 

I used 50-wt white Aurifil thread to quilt a loop de loop pattern. The batting is Dream Cotton.

I picked fabric for the backing when I began this project but eventually decided it was too dark. I thought the orange dot looked good. When I was ready for the binding, I realized the binding I had made was a red dot matching the center of each log cabin block. I didn't think that was the best choice with the orange on the back. Since I had plenty of the orange, I used that.

I do love this one!


Meet Tank, technically Teeny Tiny Tank. He arrived this past week and now lives with us. He keeps busy helping me keep my studio clean, especially one sewing machine. I've wanted a small vacuum for a long time and even tried a cordless one once. It did not work very well. Tank does a good job and I'm happy to share my space with him.


Before I began cleaning out and cutting up my fabric scraps, I went through them and cut pieces for a Dream Weaver quilt, a Missouri Star pattern. Here is the one block I have together. 

All of the pieces are in a project bag. One of these days I'll do some sewing . . .


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